7 ways to make a great impression at your job interview.

Dress appropriately, rehearse your response to why you are here, and learn to smile.

Sankar Pillai
November 17, 2019

As we are talking about making an impact from the get-go, let’s get the clichés out of the way first and just say that first impressions matter, especially at job interviews.

And much as we would all love to believe that good qualifications should essentially seal a deal at job interviews, research suggests that first impressions do shape perceptions of professional competence.

Here are our 7 ways to shine.

1. Dress immaculately

Make sure your sartorial sense is in sync with the kind of job offer you are looking at. To generalize, ensure your clothes are not too tight or loose, or too revealing. And while a decent suit is a safe bet at job interviews, make enquires about the dress code with HR before turning up.

2. Be punctual

It makes sense to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Set out from home keeping those road blocks and traffic snarls in mind so you make it well in time for the interview on D-day. It’s also a good idea to do a recce of the interview location the day before so you know the route in advance.

3. Enter with confidence

Your entrance is a key to making a positive impression. Keep your head up, acknowledging those in the room or reception area, smiling, and saying hello.

4. Shake the hand that will shake the world

Weak handshakes at interviews don’t make for great first impressions and need to be overcome, and fast. A good handshake is firm but not excessively so, it shouldn’t hurt but should leave a subtle impression of confidence. Combined with great eye contact, this makes for a great first move in your prospective employer’s eye.

5. Build that rapport

Try and ensure a conversation at the greeting stage itself, it’s a show of respect and confidence builder all rolled into one. Don’t hurry or rush a greeting, it can be a dead giveaway that you might just be a tad nervous about your prospects.

Once past the greeting stage, balance both listening and speaking. Speaking and elaborating about your positive traits is expected, but the interviewer is also looking out for how good a listener you are, and there is a good deal to be gained from just listening to your prospective interviewer talk about what is expected from you at your future workplace. Pace yourselves, and listen.

6. Know why you are here

I am here for the interview, works in school and deserves a pat on the head from your headmaster when asked why you are here, but it’s probably not a well-rounded response at job interviews. Be prepared for those curve balls when attending job interviews, then.

Consider how to handle questions such as what makes you nervous, a query that interviewers usually ask to gauge how you would handle stressful situations. Or that googly about salary expectations, always a difficult one as you wouldn’t really know if you are over or under selling yourself. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses, as mentioned before, elaborating on your strengths is expected, but surprise your employer by being upfront about what you feel you may not be able to take on, while also stating ways and means that you are exploring to overcome the same. Being honest and upfront about your weaknesses has its merits and is highly underrated.

7. Check Your Smile

This may sound odd, but make sure you smile nice at interviews. Deal with major issues by visiting a dentist or dental hygienist before you begin the job-search process. On the day of your interview, brush your teeth and floss, and avoid eating right before your meeting. Remember to smile.

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